POETRY BREAK #4:
"The Quitter" by Robert W. Service
Albie's note: Need some kind of a pick-me-up? We’ve all probably had moments of very real discouragement in our lives... moments when we feel seriously tempted to pack it in and just give up. As hokey as it sounds, it really is precisely at those times we should simply grit our teeth and keep truckin'. Proverbs tells us "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again" [Prov. 24:16]
Quitting is the easy thing to do. It’s that "keep-going-on" thing that’s hard. According to this old poem, your reaction to difficulties determines your mettle... Drive on!
When you’re lost in the Wild, and you’re scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you’re sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and... die.
But the Code of a Man says: “Fight all you can,”
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it’s easy to blow...
It’s the "hell-served-for-breakfast" that’s hard.
“You’re sick of the game!” Well, now, that’s a shame.
You’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright.
“You’ve had a raw deal!” I know — but don’t squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it’s so easy to quit:
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten — and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight —
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try — it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.
ROBERT W. SERVICE [1874-1958]
from the book RHYMES OF A ROLLING STONE, 1912